The team at Intuitive Websites (IW) spends much time on Google, HubSpot and WordPress. These three platforms have become the “big three” of digital marketing success for many clients. We also work on social media websites and with a variety of other apps and platforms, but working with these three platforms are a big part of how we drive results for clients.
WordPress, Google and HubSpot Dominate
There are options for email marketing and CRMs; HubSpot may not be your first choice. There are also alternatives for digital advertising and Amazon plays a massive role in online product sales. However, WordPress dominates website design and development, HubSpot is the best marketing automation platform and Google is the leading search engine and online advertising platform. The bottom line is digital marketing pros must work with all three to drive results.
The big three mostly complement each other very well, yet they do come into conflict at times, leading to challenges and questions about what tactics will work best on each platform. A few interesting trends are emerging from this conflict.
Let’s take a look at the most common issues around how the “big three” cooperate, complement each other, and sometimes, conflict.
What Does Google Want?
The number one thing Google wants is for people to continue to use Google. Users have many options to start a search or research a solution online, and more people continue to research sites other than Google. No one has a contract in place with Google; we use it out of convenience because it is what we know. Google has a monopoly, however, it’s a fragile one.
The second most important thing Google wants is to keep users on Google after they start their research. This increases the likelihood people will click on a Google Ad and generate revenue for Google. This is where the conflict comes in because many people leave Google to click on a WordPress website, and if they did not click on an ad to get there, Google has not generated revenue.
Google has created an inherent conflict of interest with itself. The best way to overcome this is by keeping people on Google for a greater length of time. You will see this in search results as organic results get pushed more to the bottom of the results and are replaced by ads and other Google apps like Google Shopping, Google Maps, YouTube, People also ask and GoogleMyBusiness.
The third most important thing Google wants is to avoid spam results. For this reason, you must use the Google Search Console and follow Google’s anti-spam guidelines very closely. This includes excellent SEO and a plan for regular content updates, which makes Google’s latest update coming in the Spring of 2021 a bit confusing.
Google Update Coming Soon – Google Website Speed, Usability and WordPress
In May of 2021 Google will update its search engine with an emphasis on user experience and site speed. We are not sure the impact this will have on search results, but we have started to see how Google reports on website load speed. This is a measurement of how fast websites load in a browser.
Many websites, especially WordPress sites, are getting ranked extremely low in Google website speed tests and it is concerning. Is this a possible attack on WordPress by Google?
Load speed is important to Google because they want their crawlers to be fast and efficient. The fact of the matter is WordPress websites need code to be user-friendly and easy to manage and make content updates, which is the primary reason for having a website in the first place. Currently, Google is discouraging WordPress growth by playing on site speed as a critical SEO issue. This is most likely not the case.
In reality, the Google website speed test and update seem to be more about how easy a website is to crawl by Google than how fast it loads on the average browser. Also, we have observed every Google update since 2001 and have yet to see a significant impact on most of our client websites. My guess is this latest update will be no different. Time will tell.
WordPress Continues to Dominate
WordPress websites dominate because they are easy to use, easy to update, content-focused and have a wealth of available developers, themes and apps. This will not change for many years.
Google knows how popular WordPress websites are with many small businesses and should not penalize these sites in search results. Google is basically the entry point for the world of WordPress for more than half the users visiting websites. Not doing this well will threaten Google’s effectiveness as a search engine.
HubSpot Websites Versus WordPress Websites
We recently started designing and building websites in HubSpot and have a few observations to share. The first is we still recommend WordPress as the best platform for building and designing content websites. HubSpot is far behind in available themes, plugins, and flexibility.
Also, you don’t own your website when built in HubSpot. If you leave HubSpot, the website will need to be re-built. HubSpot data tracking is excellent, however, it also does great with WordPress sites as well. HubSpot websites allow you to customize landing pages to customer demographics and better target content, workflows and data. HubSpot charges a monthly fee for access to their website builder and CMS.
HubSpot Websites Score Fast Load Times in Google
Because HubSpot uses a more simplistic editor, Google’s algorithms scan it quickly. These sites also tend to score well in Google’s speed test, much faster than WordPress websites. This is something to watch in the upcoming Google updates.
HubSpot Landing Pages and Google
We have seen Google does not like landing pages with subdomains. This is an issue in search indexing and something Google watches in their attempt to avoid spam. It’s best to build your key landing pages in WordPress and your forms in HubSpot. This also is more user-friendly and helps with SEO. Keep all your web pages on the same domain name whenever possible.
Google Analytics Data Versus HubSpot
HubSpot has an advantage over Google Analytics in that it does much better at monitoring and reporting on individual activity of contacts in the database. This makes the data much more personalized and very helpful to sales teams. Google Analytics is becoming less user-friendly and increasingly getting bogged down with bots, international traffic, spam, or unqualified traffic.
The big three digital marketing platforms are an essential part of digital marketing for many businesses. Google may be broken up at some point by the government for monopoly practices, but for now, understanding how HubSpot, WordPress and Google complement each other will be critical to your companies continued digital marketing growth.
Companies that learn how to work best with these three powerful digital marketing platforms will gain a competitive advantage and grow sales faster than those that don’t.
- Run targeted Google Ad campaigns and ensure you have excellent SEO on your website. This strategy will help you get found in Google.
- Check your website in Google’s site speed test. Watch, review and address all site speed issues on your WordPress website.
- Make sure all your Google Ads go to targeted landing pages on your WordPress website, avoid HubSpot landing pages for now.
- Consider the pros and cons of building your next website in HubSpot.
- Continue to focus on digital marketing fundamentals based on excellent usability, design, strong content and effective ways to monitor results.